Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Father's Day and Vegas

Father's Day a couple weeks ago was a good day. I got to sleep in. I woke up a little before 10:00 am. (Wow!) When I went downstairs I caught Sydney helping Mommy back a cake for me.

We then had brunch. French toast and bacon. It was Sydney's first time having French toast and she threw a fit. She didn't want it (for lunch for her) and she wasn't going to try it. After getting her calmed down and talked into at least trying it she loved it and had seconds.

We played most the rest of the day and grilled steaks for dinner. After Sydney's nap she helped Mommy frost the cake.

She got to lick the frosting off her spatula when she was done. She really enjoyed it and got quite a messy face doing it. I would have taken another video or picture of it but I didn't think of it while I was licking off my own spatula. Yummy!

Saturday night before Father's Day we went out to dinner at a newer restaurant called Ciao Mambo. It was really good (Italian) food and really good service. In fact, they had a barbecue chicken pizza there that was pretty darn good. I've been looking a good barbecue chicken pizza since we left Vegas and this is the closest I have come to finding one as good as the Memphis pizza at Metro Pizza. If I liked the thinner, crispier type of crust better it would probably be just as good.

Anyway, the one complaint about the restaurant is that it's a little noisy. It's open-ceilinged, so you see the vents and everything up above you. This seems to makes noise carry and echo really well. Coupled with the music being played a tad bit loud makes for a rather noisy dining experience. But still good.

While we were waiting for our food a song came on that made Sydney feel like dancing.

Also while we were there Sydney announced several time that, "when I grow up I will be as tall as Daddy." Of course, trying to get her to say it for the video camera is completely different.

Then on Tuesday Sydney finished her lunch and got some chocolate cake for dessert. Afterward she had a bunch of crumbs down her front. I picked her up and stood her on the ledge of the kitchen sink and brushed her off. I remarked that, look, she was as tall as me.

Sydney turned to me and said, "No, Daddy. I have to be as tall as you on the floor."

This past weekend Sydney picked out a green dress to wear. Anne got her hair all done up and Sydney wanted to wear one of the bracelets she got in San Diego. The outfit was just too cute not to take a picture.

Sydney In Her Green Dress

At the end of May we took a trip to Vegas. We left on a Thursday and came back the following Monday. We went for Anne's high school reunion. As usual, Sydney was excited about getting to go on a plane and behaved exceptionally well in the airport and on the plane.

We stayed with Aunt Helena and her dog Blue. Sydney really liked Blue, as you probably know already by the simple fact that he is a dog. Here's Sydney saying hello to Blue.

Sydney Says Hello To Blue

One of the things that Sydney apparently took away from the San Diego vacation was riding on a carousel. She let us know that she was going to do it again on this vacation. We cautiously explained to her that we didn't know if there was a merry-go-round that she'd be able to ride. She took the news well.

Of course, there was. Las Vegas has grown so much that they probably have everything there somewhere. Out in the area we last lived the changes were so great and development so expansive that more than one time we had no idea where we were and frequently barely recognized streets and areas we used to drive on practically every day.

Anyway, a new shopping area had put in a carousel in their park area. So we took Sydney to it.

Sydney on the Carousel

Sydney is such a sweet little girl but she made sure to tell us how excited she was about the merry-go-round and threw in a few, "See? I told you" sos along the way.

Sydney and Mommy on the Carousel

I'm not sure what it is about that picture that I like so much.

After they rode the carousel it was time to go back to Aunt Helena's. We made the mistake of telling Sydney that it was time to go "home". She did not want to go home. She wanted to stay on vacation. So we corrected ourselves and explained that we wouldn't be going home for a few more days and that we needed to go back to Aunt Helena's house.

Well that was okay. Sydney got a bit happier as she announced that it was time to "go back to Blue's". And for the rest of the trip it wasn't Aunt Helena's house. It was Blue's.

Sydney had fun with Blue. She would give him treats.

Sydney Gives Blue a Treat

And she would try to get him to shake. (Or "give me your paw" as Blue knows it.)

In the mornings Sydney would go out with Aunt Helena to water the plants on the front walk.

Aunt Helena fills up the watering can.

Sydney Waits for Water

And even though (on the right side of the picture) this next one looks like Aunt Helena is getting ready to spray Sydney, she isn't really. And didn't.

Sydney Waters Plants

And in this one it looks like Sydney needs to pay more attention to what she's watering than to smiling for the camera.

Sydney and Aunt Helena Water Plants

Saturday night was the reunion. It was fun enough. You know, for an event where I know one person (my wife) and may vaguely know one or two others if I happen to remember them from the last reunion.

Anne had been very excited about it but as it drew closer she cared less and less. She didn't enjoy it as much as her ten year reunion. Regardless, it was a fun night out. (Even if I did ruin her purse by putting chocolates in it that melted all over.)

Sunday was a lot of fun. Aunt Helena and Grandma M planned a brunch and everyone was invited. We ate a lot and sat around all day and talked. Then we still hung out, the grandparents left, some other friends came over and we had hamburgers and chicken for dinner. It was a great, fun and relaxing day.

Sydney really got to meet people who care a lot about her but who she hasn't seen since she was itty, bitty little. Like Aunt Leana.

Sydney and Aunt Leanna

And if I leave that by only mentioning "and Aunt Leana" and posting a picture I will probably never hear the end of it. Leana is a wonderful lady and has been best friends with Anne forever. She loves both Sydney and me with all her heart and we are part of her extended family. And while I can't speak for Sydney, I love Leana, too and miss her. Even if she didn't show up for babysitting duties with Aunt Helena on Saturday night.

Sydney also got to see Uncle Neal.

Sydney and Uncle Neal

I will probably never hear the end of it if I don't mention more about Neal, but too bad. That's all you get. Ha ha!

Okay, fine. Neal is my best bud. We moved to Vegas together back in the day and while Anne and I were trying desperately to get away he stuck around. It was great seeing him again because neither one of us is good at actually calling the other. Or sending emails. Or any other type of communication.

Oh. Saturday we had lunch at Metro Pizza. And, yes, I had a Memphis barbecue chicken pizza. And, yes, it was as great as I remembered. Leana and Neal were there for lunch. (And Neal and I had just gone to a hockey game on Friday night. Great fun.) An old friend, Brad, also came (he was there for brunch on Sunday, too). He is a good friend of Helena's and therefore a good friend of ours. Even if he didn't come to our wedding because he was golfing. (You can sort of see Brad in the background behind Neal in the picture above.)

On Monday it was time to go home and leave Blue's. Sydney said good bye to Blue.

Sydney Says Good Bye to Blue

We went out to lunch with Grandma and Grandpa M. We followed them to the restaurant and Sydney, knowing they were in front of us, kept going, "Oh no. They're getting away," just about every time we left an intersection.

Helena came over to see us at their house afterward before we went to the airport.

Sydney and Aunt Helena

I have no idea why this next picture didn't focus, but it's the only one I got with Sydney and Grandma M, so it isn't getting scrapped. Sorry, Grandma M.

Sydney, Grandma M and Mommy

And Sydney got some Grandpa M time, too.

Sydney and Grandpa M

That's just about all I have this time. I'll leave you with one last video. You can see how good Sydney has gotten at riding her tricycle.